Twin River Casino
|Twin River Casino Hotel|
|Location||Lincoln, Rhode Island|
|Address||100 Twin River Road|
|Opening date||July 7, 1947|
|No. of rooms||136|
|Total gaming space||162,000 square feet (15,100 m2)|
Twin River Casino Hotel, previously Lincoln Park, is a casino, hotel, and former race track in Lincoln, Rhode Island, owned and operated by Bally's Corporation. The facility has 162,000 square feet (15,100 m2) of gaming space, with 4,108 slot machines, 97 table games, and 23 poker tables. The hotel has 136 rooms. Other amenities include a 29,000-square-foot (2,700 m2) event center, 16 eateries, 7 bars, and a racebook.
Lincoln Downs opened on July 7, 1947. It was built by B. A. Dario, owner of the Pascoag Park Racetrack in Pascoag, Rhode Island, and accommodated 5,800 spectators in the grandstand, plus 2,000 more in the clubhouse and turf club.
In 1976, Dario closed the track early, stating that it had lost $400,000 in 28 days, due to the loss of customers to Connecticut's off-track betting and jai alai, and the state's refusal to allow the track to keep a larger share of the betting handle. Later that year, Dario sold his 82 percent controlling interest in the park to the Taunton Greyhound Association. The track was renamed as Lincoln Greyhound Park, and began its first season of greyhound racing in June 1977.
In December 1989, the owners, Alfred Ross and Joseph Linsey of Florida, agreed to sell Lincoln Greyhound Park, along with four other dog tracks in Colorado and South Dakota, for an estimated total of $80 million to United Track Racing, a joint venture between Wembley plc (the British parent company of Wembley Stadium) and United Tote (a Montana-based supplier of computerized wagering systems for racetracks). United Tote was charged with managing the tracks, due to Wembley's lack of experience in the American pari-mutuel market. Wembley bought out United Tote's 20 percent stake in the company in August 1992.
Rhode Island's 1991-92 budget authorized Lincoln and the state's other pari-mutuel facility, Newport Jai Alai, to offer off-track betting for 104 days a year. Simulcasting of horse races from other tracks began in July 1991.
In 1992, with pari-mutuel handles dropping due to competition from the newly opened Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, Rhode Island authorized video lottery terminals with poker and blackjack games to be installed at Lincoln Park and Newport Jai Alai. Lincoln came online in September 1992 with 189 machines. By 1993, the number had increased to 900. That year, the property's name was shortened to Lincoln Park, to emphasize that it offered simulcasting and electronic gaming in addition to greyhound racing.
Transformation to Twin River
In 2003, Lincoln Park and two executives were indicted on federal charges related to an alleged scheme in 2000 and 2001 to pay up to $4 million to the law firm of Rhode Island House Speaker John Harwood to gain support for an expansion of the track's slot parlor, and to block a rival casino proposed by the Narragansett Indian Tribe. In the wake of the accusations, Governor Donald Carcieri demanded that the track be sold to new owners before negotiations could continue on the proposed expansion. A bidding war for Wembley ensued between MGM Mirage and BLB Investors (a partnership of the Waterford Group, Kerzner International, and Starwood Capital). BLB made the winning offer of $553 million in May 2004, but withdrew from the deal just two months later due to concerns about potential competition from the Narragansett casino. A new agreement was later reached for BLB to buy Wembley's five American race tracks, including Lincoln, for a total of $455 million, and the sale closed in July 2005.
BLB undertook a $220 million expansion which opened in March 2007 under a new name, Twin River Casino.
BLB filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, and said it would have to end dog racing for the casino to survive. The company's reorganization was largely resolved by November 2010, with ownership transferred to its lenders, a group led by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Sankaty Advisors, but the bankruptcy case remained open until September 2011.
In November 2012, voters statewide and in Lincoln approved a referendum allowing live table games at Twin River. A similar referendum for the Newport Grand was rejected by Newport voters. Table games began operating in June 2013.
In March 2015, Twin River agreed to purchase the Newport Grand.
The casino added a poker room in December 2015.
Sports and mobile gambling
In November 2018, Twin River opened the first sportsbook in Rhode Island and began offering sports betting. In March 2019, the governor of Rhode Island signed a bill to allow mobile sports betting in the state, to begin on July 1. The bill allowed for the creation of an app to allow remote placing of sports bets at Twin River Casino. The state had legalized sports betting the year before, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law forbidding most sports gambling in the country.
- Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Twin River Worldwide Holdings. April 1, 2019. p. 26 – via EDGAR.
- "Boston Man first at Lincoln Downs". New York Times. AP. July 8, 1947. – via ProQuest (subscription required)
- Blunk, Frank M. (April 29, 1956). "From jitney to millions: Rise of a turfman". New York Times. – via ProQuest (subscription required)
- "Lincoln Downs closing for rest of '76". New York Times. AP. August 8, 1976. – via ProQuest (subscription required)
- "Lincoln Downs 'goes to dogs'". New York Times. AP. December 17, 1976. – via ProQuest (subscription required)
- "Lincoln Park begins June 23". Washington Post. AP. June 11, 1977. – via ProQuest (subscription required)
- O'Neill, Phil (January 24, 1990). "British buying Lincoln track". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- Sleeth, Peter (December 22, 1989). "British firm buying 3 Colo. dog tracks". Denver Post. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- Hiday, Jeffrey L. (August 13, 1992). "Wembley takes full control of race track". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Gray, Ed (July 30, 1991). "Lincoln bettors enjoy horsing around". Boston Herald. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- Gray, Ed (October 1, 1992). "Video games for dog days". Boston Herald. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- Aucoin, Don (April 18, 1993). "R.I. video poker fans say game is costly but fun". Boston Globe. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Eric Woolson (June 13, 1993). "Track gets lift from video lottery". The Courier. Waterloo, IA – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
- Osborne, Alistair (September 11, 2003). "Wembley chief to face $4.5m bribery charge". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Gregg, Katherine; Anderson, Liz (October 8, 2003). "Rhode Island governor wants new owners for greyhound track". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Mayerowitz, Scott (May 6, 2004). "MGM Mirage drops bid for Lincoln Park, leaving one bidder". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Freyer, Felice (July 6, 2004). "Bidder quits effort to buy firm that owns Lincoln Park". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Florin, Karen (July 20, 2005). "Wolman, partners conclude deal for R.I.'s Lincoln Park". The Day. New London, CT. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- Keister, Rebecca (March 24, 2007). "Taking chance on Twin River". The Sun Chronicle. Attleboro, MA. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Friess, Steve (June 27, 2009). "A casino's plan to open 24 hours a day draws ire". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Grimaldi, Paul (November 10, 2010). "Twin River wins license transfer". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Grimaldi, Paul (October 20, 2010). "Bank group clears a hurdle". Providence Journal. – via Factiva (subscription required)
- Hallenbeck, Brian (October 1, 2011). "Twin River bankruptcy case closes". The Day. New London, CT. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Paul Grimaldi (June 17, 2013). "Twin River casino in R.I. expected to draw new crowd of gamblers now that it has table games". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
- Grimaldi, Paul (March 4, 2015). "Twin River makes deal to buy rival Newport Grand". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
- "Twin River Casino introduces poker as competition ramps up". Washington Times. AP. December 4, 2015. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
- Bogdan, Jennifer (May 2, 2017). "Construction starts on 135-room hotel at Twin River Casino". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- Nicole Dotzenrod (October 24, 2018). "Twin River Hotel open for business". The Valley Breeze. Lincoln, RI. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
- Gouker, Dustin (November 21, 2018). "Rhode Island Sports Betting Launches Monday At Twin River Casino". Legal Sports Report. Retrieved December 4, 2018.